Case BriefsTribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

National Green Tribunal (NGT): The Bench of Adarsh Kumar Goel, CP and K. Ramakrishnan (JM) and Dr Nagin Nanda (EM), stated that,

“Inspite of the report showing serious violation of law, Haryana State Pollution Control Board has shown either negligence, collusion or incompetence.”

In the present case, the issue for consideration is an alleged violation of environmental norms by Piccadilly Agro Distillery Industries Ltd. A Joint Committee was asked for the report for the stated issue.

The report filed by the committee reported violations of environmental norms by the Units which were required to be remedied. In the stated report, particular mention was made with regard to malfunctioning of ETP and storage capacity of the spent wash. Other steps required were for reducing smell nuisance and to undertake further operations.

Tribunal found a notice issued under Sections 21/22 of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and 25/26 of Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 asking the unit to submit an action plan to control odour and spillage of leachate.

Further, the bench stated that State PCB may now forthwith take steps apart from considering closing the unit till compliance of norms to protect the public health of inhabitants and to uphold rule of law failing which action may have to be initiated against the Chairman and Member Secretary of State PCB for the failure. It is the duty of regulatory authorities to take stringent preventive and punitive action. Deterrent compensation must be recovered for restoring the damage.

“Violation of environmental norms affects right to life and is a criminal offence.”

The matter is further listed for consideration on 19-07-2019.[Gram Seva Samiti v. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, 2019 SCC OnLine NGT 44, Order dated 29-03-2019]